I finished my week of self– week so full of work that I felt cross-eyed at times, frustrated at low pay and the need to constantly plan every minute. And, the times when I did stop to read or watch television made me feel guilty in the face of a messy house and undone bits of laundry. It was really a challenge to indulge in self-love with that type of situation as a backdrop.
Wednesday I worked away at a writing job with dedication all day long. My reward was to shower, at 4 PM, dress and take myself out to dinner. I went to my favorite Italian restaurant and dined alone out on the patio. I din’t bring a book or play with my phone, I simply enjoyed the quiet and the last moments of spring–plus a nice wine and tasty pasta primavera. And, a cute waiter.
Thursday I came home from my part-time retail job and sat out on the deck without purpose. I just sat there with the trees and birds all around. And, allowed myself to daydream and think about whatever silly, relevant or nice thought popped to mind. Friday was less ‘goal-directed’. I stopped off at my favorite bar on the way home, coincidentally in the same favorite restaurant, and a had a drink. This is my version of Cheers-I’ve worked nearby and known these people and some of the patrons for years. I gave myself permission to take the night off.
Saturday was a difficult day. I wrote all day; articles, for a marketing company, which are bread and butter but not very inspiring or exciting. I had no choice, having over-committed for the week, but to cram as many in as possible. So, at the computer I sat …..all day long. Saturday’s call was to PLAY. I gave myself permission to suspend work and spent the evening in play, dinner with a good friend. He cooked for the both of us-softshell crabs! Great conversation capped off with a good movie.
Sunday was love. Easy one. I drove an hour to have brunch with one of my dearest friends. We ate and walked and talked for 4 hours. We’ve been through our ups and downs through the years and let our actions and attitudes pull us apart. And, ultimately our love for each other brought us to apologies and acknowledgments and back together. She is a dear friend. When we’re together I come away feeling better about myself and the world. She is an example of someone who has fought horrific adversity with a smile on her face and a determination to forge on. She fiercely carves out time for self in a way most of us could only dream of.
What have I gotten from this week? Some objective self-assessment which hits me square in the gut. While I spent hours this week, day and night slaving away- it wasn’t enough and it wasn’t fun. The writing I’m doing now, for clients, isn’t always interesting or satisfying. Nor does it pay enough. I have to make some changes here. One change would be in my attitude! I also realized the need for time management retraining. But, underneath it all is the realization that making time for self-love is a challenge. When we, or I, get too busy we don’t make the time to nurture ourselves. And, we risk thinking that we’re not worth it, that the job, task, other person, meal, laundry basket is more important. And as we ‘neglect’ our real jobs to indulge in what might be viewed as frivolous, unnecessary self-indulgence we could easily feel bad about that-creating a vicious self-negating cycle. Totally ironic, isn’t it. I didn’t go there, nor did I hold my own personal satisfaction as most important. I missed an opportunity or two. Instead of whinging about the writing assignment, I had the power to shift that thinking into a powerful statement about my ability to seek freedom and flexibility through freelance writing. And, to acknowledge the personal choice to pursue this particular path at this juncture in my life.
As you can see I did get in some powerful, affirming time this past week. I juggled more client jobs than usual in one week and met my deadlines. And, I managed to squeeze in some wonderful play time with friends. All in all, it was an awesome week of self-love.
To be continued…